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Penetrating Damp

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1145 views 1 replies latest reply: 02 October 2015

I moved into a basement flat (+young daughter) in February of this year. At first everything seemed okay apart from the cold (wow, even with heating on full blast, it was still icy). When I initially viewed the flat, I noticed a big damp patch on the kitchen ceiling, the agent told me that the flat above had a leak of some sort (bathroom/kitchen) and that it had been sorted out (insurance job), but I was still to keep an eye on it!

I also noticed damp patches on inside of front door which was caused by the overflow pipe from the flat above. Furthermore, I noticed some discoloured flaking paint on inside of window sill, in the sitting room, which I was to find out later was caused because exterior render which butts up to brickwork had not been sealed properly. Lastly, I was shocked to see my suit, two pairs of shoes and a piece of luggage covered in mould around July (my clothes rail is located in sitting room due to space confines). I went to the agent with the shoes, and told them about the other items, they told me to email all photos of contaminated items to them.

I presumed that they would be passed onto the landlady, and she would pay (wrongly) for my items to be professionally cleaned. When I contacted the agent after I moved out as regards to this in September, the agent said ” I apologise for any misunderstandings, but you would need to make a claim through your contents insurance on the items that have been damaged” as I have no contents insurance, I just wanted to know where I stand? In finishing, in the 6 months that I lived in the property, I had visits to the property from: (1st) building company, and environmental health (I called), managing agents, letting agent, (2nd) building company rep took out a thermal gun and showed me lots of damp areas on walls and ceiling, he said the roof needed replacing as he remembered several years earlier my house had had problems with a leaky roof! 

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Hi Tony

The agent is wrong. If your possessions have been damaged as a result of the landlord’s failure to fulfil their responsibilities then you can claim compensation. You should go back to the agent and point that out that this obligation to keep the building in good repair arises both under the tenancy agreement and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Housing Act 2004. You have plenty of proof that the landlord failed on this front by the sounds of it (environmental health etc). I’d put in writing how much you want and give them a) a time in which to respond and b) a time in which to pay. I’m not a lawyer so if you want legal advice then try a law centre too.

There’s more info on your rights and what you can do here and here.


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